Books Magazine

Meet Tim Cockburn, Young British Poet

By Periscope @periscopepost
Meet Tim Cockburn, young British poet

Tim Cockburn.

Tim Cockburn is a young poet from Nottingham, with his first collection of poetry out now. Here is his story about getting published.

How old are you?

When did you start writing?
I started writing seriously, by which I suppose I mean, consciously measuring my writing against writing celebrated by persons of some authority, when I was 17.

Who are your favorite writers?
When I first read Philip Larkin, a funny feeling came over me. There was an extraordinary sense that what was being said was meant / felt. One of my other favorite poets is Frank O’Hara. Superficially these poets hardly resemble each other, but I think they share a common humanity, toughness, and generosity.

What kind of thing do you write?
I appear to write short poems about my life. I regret that I can’t write about anything else because I have so many passions and interests, but all I’ve ever been able to get a spark out of is how it feels to be me.

Can we read any of your work online?
Yes, you can! My work is featured on various websites and blogs. Easiest just to Google ‘Tim Cockburn’ poem and see what’s thrown up.

How did you get your book deal?
I received a message on Facebook, asking if I was interested in ‘throwing a pamphlet together’ for Salt. I’m tempted to say ‘out of the blue’ but it wasn’t really. I wouldn’t have become known to Salt had I not done countless readings as well as submitting poems to various anthologies etc. Don’t be afraid to be a bit of a glow worm: find the tallest blade of grass you can, climb it, and detonate your luminous ass.

Do you have any advice for budding writers?
I don’t have any advice for writers generally, but for poets the best advice I can think of is to pay attention, and to pursue your momentary convictions to the ends of the earth.

Tim Cockburn’s first collection of poetry is available from Salt Publishing; check out one of his poems here.

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